Monday, May 20, 2013

Krissi's Fried Chicken

Best Fried Chicken You'll Ever Eat!!

So I posted pictures from my fried chicken dinner 2 Sunday's ago, and the request for the recipe has been overwhelming.  I am happy to provide it to you.  It's a combination of family recipes, and tricks I've learned over the years.  I've become pretty well known for my fried chicken, and that says something to me, beings that my Grandfather, my Bampi, hails from southern farmhouse roots.  

However, when I knew my chicken was absolutely up there with the greats, was when an old southern black woman, descended from slaves (so she told me), oversaw me in the kitchen at a battered woman's shelter I was staying at with my then baby boy, while escaping an abusive relationship.  

She loved that I was so interested in cooking and getting it right.  The first night she had me make fried chicken as I knew it.  She tasted it, said "it's alright child, but you got a lot to learn".  The next night we met in the kitchen and she taught me the best fried chicken I have ever eaten.  

Now with no disservice to Ms. Thelma, I have tweaked the spices to my own liking, but it's still up there with  hers.  Sadly, I heard she passed about 9 years ago, but I'm sure if she could taste my version of her recipe, she would be proud that I did her justice.  

This post is dedicated to Ms. Thelma.  She taught me a lot in a very difficult time in my life.  Wish I would have got to spend more time with her under different circumstances. 

Ingredients:
1 whole fryer chicken, cut into pieces

1/4 cup Franks Red Hot hot sauce
2 cups buttermilk**

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp of Adobo
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

Vegetable Oil
Butter

Method:

As I have shown you in a previous blog, Chicken Butchery 101, butcher your chicken accordingly, until you have all your pieces ready to go, like in the picture below.  


Place chicken in a large bowl.  Pour 1/4 cup of Frank's Red Hot over the pieces.  



Mix the chicken with the sauce with your hands until all pieces are coated.  Add 2 cups of buttermilk, enough to coat the chicken.  If you need more, use it.  The chicken should be drowning.

                                               


Soak for at least 1 hour or up to overnight, covered in the refrigerator.  Next, get started on your flour mixture.  Place everything in a big bowl.  Remember to lick your finger and stick it in the flour mixture.  If it's not seasoned enough, go ahead and add more.  I suggest sticking with my recipe for now, until you become more comfortable with seasoning.  Then, go ahead and get crazy.  


Use a cast iron skillet (if you do not own one, a heavy bottomed frying pan will do, but bear in mind the importance of that cast iron for even cooking and optimal frying), and put about 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil in there.  Put your flame on medium high and allow it to heat up.  Also, this is the time you want to get your oven on 350.  Just do it, all questions will be answered at the end.  


Throw in 4 TBSP of butter into the vegetable oil. Next, is one of Thelma's tricks, which I will always use for the rest of my life.  Take 1 onion and quarter it, leaving the root on the bottom so the 1/4'd pieces stay intact.  Place the onions in the oil.  When the onions have browned up, your oil is hot enough and ready for frying, AND it has onion flavor to add to your chicken. 



When the onions are almost burnt, remove from the pan and place on the side.  These are actually great for garnish or snacking.  Onion chips.  Mmmmm.



Now comes the fun part!  Take your marinated chicken and dip it into your flour mixture until well coated.  Shake off excess.  Place it BACK INTO the buttermilk/hot sauce mixture and then back in the flour again.  This is actually an instance where double dipping is ok. ;-)



Once all your pieces are coated and on a wire rack, you are ready to fry baby!  Place the chicken SKIN SIDE DOWN into the hot oil.  Leave it alone for 2-3 minutes and check.   


When you have a beautiful golden brown crust like this, it's ready to flip.  


Now, I cannot stress this part enough.  So listen carefully.  Place a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet.  Again, place a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet.  As your chicken fries, place it on the wire rack and into a 350 degree oven.  You will want to cook your biggest pieces first.  Breasts take the longest, followed by legs, thighs, wings and finally the tenderloins.  You want to get your breasts fried up and in the oven so they are cooking while the other pieces are being fried up.  


Go ahead and continue frying the rest of your chicken pieces and adding it to the oven.


Check the temperature of your chicken with a meat thermometer.  Chicken should be about 165, so I always pull mine between 155 and 160 because it will continue to cook as it rests.  Insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without hitting the bone for the best accuracy.

When all your chicken is done and up to temperature, keep on wire rack to rest for at least 5 minutes.  


If you have done everything right, you will have moist, fully cooked chicken packed full of flavor.  You will never eat fast food chicken again.  It is worth the effort. 


I served mine with some buttermilk mashed potatoes, candied carrots and my cornbread recipe that I have in a previous blog.  You can find that here:  Iron Skillet Cornbread

 

Listen, don't get all nuts on yourself if it doesn't come out right the first time. Cooking is supposed to be fun.  When you make it fun, it won't be work, and then you won't be so ticked off when things don't come out right.  

I thought I made the best fried chicken, til Ms. Thelma schooled my ass.  I am grateful to her everyday, cause I must say, my fried chicken is incredible.  I hope you think so too!  

To get the latest on what I'm up to, where I've been eating, or for meal suggestions, discussions and just the awesomeness that is me, check out and "like" my Facebook page at: Rotund Chef - Facebook.

Also, don't forget to watch me compete on MasterChef!!  Season 4 airs this Wednesday, May 22nd on FOX.  Check your local listings for times.  

Happy frying my little hens!!!  

Deliciously yours, 
The Rotund Chef

** Buttermilk - You can make your own version of buttermilk by putting 1 tsp lemon juice into 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for about 30 mins at room temperature.  

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes, things don’t really appear the way you expect them to be, especially in cooking. But with practice and experience, I’m sure things will turn out great. Anyway, the recipe you’ve shared with us is amazing, and it seems quite easy to prepare. And personally, I think using the onion for the oil heat reference and for garnish is great. Thanks for sharing!


    Mae Tyler @ St. Andrew Poultry

    ReplyDelete